Sessions England/Wales

Sessions England/Wales

Here is a new development in the controversy over proposed PEL laws that would require all live music to be licensed. The Muscians Union and individuals concerned about the loss of sessions and venues for live music have been signing an online petition that is now over 40,000 and speaking out in criticism of the new PEL.

The Commons Joint Committee on Human Rights, from a report from a committee meeting held in December suggested that the bill was incompatible with Article Ten of the European Convention of Human Rights covering the freedom of expression.

It said: "We consider that there is a significant risk that the provision would amount to an unjustifiable interference with, and hence violation of, rights under Article Ten."

Here is a link to the article regarding the Committee’s reort:
http://www.thestage.co.uk/paper/0303/0102.shtml

Re: Sessions England/Wales

without going into the wider question of the other sorts of "events" that this legislation may cover, it seems to me that the "pub session" (as such) might well benefit from this reform provided that the new licensing is efficiently done and doesn’t cost the earth. at the moment, a great many pub sessions operate illegally as the "two in a bar" rule doesn’t cover them. because of the high cost, many pub landlords won;t have sessions (which need a licence) though they are quite happy to take advantage of the "two in a bar" exemption. if the cost of the new licensing is reasonable (and fixed like the present cost of the "on-licence"), then possibly more venues (the ones that have duos but not sessions) will be open to "sessioneers" than at present? it seems to me that the greater danger in this area is of allowing local councils to fix their own levels of fees - that would be disastrous as at least one of the local councils in my area considers this sort of thing to be a "revenue stream" (i.e. a nice little earner!!)
in the wider context of health and safety, there are certainly a few licensed premises in my part of the world who don’t have things like proper fire exits, emergency lighting etc - and would be very dangerous if there were to be any kind of fire or other emergency. i think that it isn;t a bad idea that such concerns should be addressed.

Re: Sessions England/Wales

The problem is the cost isn’t reasonable, the fines and jail sentence are high and cover not only the landlord but also the musicians, and the wording says live music in any "place" needs a license, which means your own house or garden as well as public places.

The Musicians Union has pointed out that fire and other safety issues can be taken care of in better ways. They are asking that live music be covered by legislation such as that presently in Scotland.

Many MPs have signed this Early Day Motion:
http://edm.ais.co.uk/weblink/html/motion.html/ref=331

LICENSING OF LIVE MUSIC 10.12.02
Whittingdale/John

That this House expresses concern that the Licensing Bill proposals to make the performance of live music licensable in pubs and clubs, in places where
alcohol is served, in churches, synagogues, mosques and other places of worship, in schools and colleges, in community centres and village and parish
halls, and in private homes and gardens where private parties and weddings may be held will have an enormously detrimental effect on musicians and
live music performances; fears that the raising of money for charities by musicians will be seriously compromised; considers it will seriously impinge on
the folk community including folk music and traditional folk activities such as morris dancing, wassailing, &c; believes that the penalties for breaking
the law of a six month jail sentence of a

Re: Sessions England/Wales

oh,good lord,perserve us from hell,hull,halifax…and kim howells.
do not look to this career politico for help.
his latest soundbite was something to the effect that rap was resonspible for the new year shootings in birmingham.

Re: Sessions England/Wales

The following from Hamish Birchall.
The new licensing criterion ‘Entertainment Facilities’, paragraph 3 of
Schedule 1, would even render the provision of a piano in a bar a criminal
offence without a licence. That is because it would be a facility for enabling persons to take part in music-making for purposes which
include the purpose of being entertained. There is no requirement for anyone
actually to be playing the piano, nor for the presence of an audience. The maximum
penalty for unlicensed performance, or music-making facilities, is a